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James Clements & Doireann Mac Mahon's ELLIS ISLAND to Screen at Queens Theatre

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Ellis Island is a multimedia play that examines why we leave the places we are born, why we go to the places we do and how our sense of self is maintained.

James Clements & Doireann Mac Mahon's ELLIS ISLAND to Screen at Queens Theatre

Ellis Island is an interview-based multimedia play that examines why we leave the places we are born, why we go to the places we do and how our sense of self is maintained in our new home.

Originally commissioned by Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and the NY Theatre Salon for the 2021 Global Forms Theatre Festival, the digital theatre project was recently recognized with City Artists Corps grant from New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), and will been presented by the Queens Theatre as a venue partner (14 United Nations Ave South Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Queens, NY 11368) for a free public screening and artist talkback on Sunday October 17 at 2pm.

There will be free admission on a first-come-first-serve basis, with a particular emphasis on outreach to immigrant communities across New York. For further information, please visit the Queens Theatre website at www.queenstheatre.org.

Told through the experience of two immigrants - a Scottish man and an Irish woman - arriving in New York in 1921, in the aftermath of the Spanish Flu pandemic and amongst the wreckage of the First World War, Ellis Island asks prescient questions about belonging, prejudice and what makes our sense of identity. Set in the quarantine

hospital on the titular island, a truly global story emerges - one of leaving, arriving and waiting. Folk music is woven throughout, along with monologues from a range of contemporary immigrant voices from across the world. As we move back and forth across a century, this timely piece speaks to modern audiences in the face of both COVID-19 and the constant fluctuations in US immigration regulations still present today.

The streamed production, released in June, was featured in the New York Times, Talkin' Broadway and Broadway World, and received critical acclaim, with The Theatre Times noting "[it] highlights the common threads within the immigrant experience." The review continued, "[T]hanks to Clements' and Mac Mahon's...nuanced script work, the two form likable allies and interesting foils, their opposing views highlighting immigrants' countless existential and practical concerns."

The project was created by Clements and Mac Mahon along with an entirely immigrant team including Marc Atkinson Borrull (direction), Peter Azen (photography and filming), Aline Salloum (editing), Carla Posada (costumes), Sarai Frazier (lights) and Liam Bellman-Sharpe (sound), with performances by Gilda Mercado, Emile Lacheny, Dorothea Gloria, Ma'moon Tebbo, Vongai Shava, Sneha Sakhare, Charon Scerra and Salma S. Zohdi.


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